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Julian Cusack, Green Party prospective parliamentary candidate for Suffolk Coastal, proposes for Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB to be new National Park





A Suffolk prospective parliamentary candidate has called for the creation of a National Park in the county after the government announced a set of ‘nature pledges’.

Julian Cusack, the Green Party prospective parliamentary candidate for Suffolk Coastal, proposed that the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) be consider for the new delegation.

The new package was announced by Environment Secretary Steve Barclay on Wednesday (November 29), and alongside the search for a new National Park, includes measures for 34 landscape recovery projects and a pledge of £15m to support existing National Parks and Landscapes.

Dunwich Beach, a part of Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB, which Julian Cusack is proposing be designed England's new National Park. Picture: Melissa Philips
Dunwich Beach, a part of Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB, which Julian Cusack is proposing be designed England's new National Park. Picture: Melissa Philips

Cusack will be facing off against former Environment Secretary Dr. Therese Coffey for the Suffolk Coastal constituency.

He said: “The government has announced there will be a new National Park in England and now would be a good time to think about setting one up in the east of the country.

“The AONB already meets the ‘natural beauty’ criteria for designation as a National Park and we believe that it also meets the test of providing opportunities for open-air recreation.

Julian Cusack, MP candidate for Suffolk Coastal. Picture: Julian Cusack
Julian Cusack, MP candidate for Suffolk Coastal. Picture: Julian Cusack

“With an over-riding obligation to conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of a National Park, we believe such a designation would help shift the focus back from ‘Energy Coast’ to ‘Heritage Coast’.”

In recent years and at present the East Suffolk area has been targeted as the site for energy infrastructure developments, including Sea Link and LionLink.

The Suffolk Coastal Green Party states that the trenches that could be dug through the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB could cause ‘untold damage’ to sensitive habitats and wildlife.

Cusack continued: “This vision for a semi-industrialised future for the East Suffolk coast is at odds with the former vision of a ‘Heritage Coast’ aimed at hosting a valuable tourism sector while meeting the AONB objectives of conserving and enhancing habitats and biodiversity.”

Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB is a part of England’s East Coast wetlands, which last year were added to the UK’s Tentative List of World Heritage Sites, in recognition of its value to humanity.